Dreamstime is the best option if you need lots of images in a short period of time, for instance to populate your website with images. Not only does Dreamstime have a very large collection of images (+60 million) and has fantastic image quality - but it is also best on price for large number of images.
If you instead need images continuously over a longer period (for instance for your bi-weekly blog-posts), our recommendation is Depositphotos. Depositphotos also has a very large collection of images (+60 million), has fantastic image quality and is best on price for a smaller number of images.
Depositphotos lets you download 30 images during a one-month period for $29 (no annual commitment). That is $0.97 per image.
In addition to Dreamstime and Depositphotos, we also very much like 123RF and Adobe Stock. Both have a large collection of products, have great quality and good pricing. See our Special Offers page to save money on these agencies.
There are four key factors that determine which agency you should go with: price, quality, number of images (or videos or audio files) and editing capabilities.
Whether you are looking for images, videos, audio files or other products, the first factor to consider should probably be the price you pay per product. Some stock image websites are better than others if you only need one or a few images (or other media products), while others have great plans if you need hundreds of products. The bottom line is that you don't want to spend more money than you have to.
Quality of the products is another key factor. You will normally want outstanding, ultra-sharp and high resolution images (and other media products). A picture (or video) can communicate a thousand words, and a top quality product can help to powerfully deliver this message.
Another key factor is the number of items that this stock image website carries. Generally speaking, the more products the stock image website has, the more likely you are to find what you need. Particularly if you need hundreds of images for your website or blog, or if you need images over a long period of time, you will want to have as large of a selection as possible.
Lastly, you may also want to be able to easily edit the images (or videos or audio files). You may want to add a filter, add in graphics, cut out objects, or similar. Some agencies have editors available to use on their platforms, while others do not.
In terms of price, there are 4 stock image websites that across the board offer the best pricing: Dreamstime, Depositphotos, 123RF and Adobe Stock. All of these websites let you download either a large number (750-780) of images, or just a few, for a reasonable price.
The stock image websites with the largest number of images are Getty Images, Alamy, 123RF, Adobe Stock, Dreamstime, Depositphotos and Panthermedia. All of these have more than 60 million images. These stock image websites also add thousands of new images (and other media products) every week.
If you need lots of images for a website, and your website is in a very particular niche, you should find out which stock image websites have lots of images for that particular niche. However, if your website covers a relative common segment or industry, all the mentioned stock image websites will normally have the images you need.
Be aware that Getty Images is a very expensive agency and that it is generally not suitable for bloggers, start-ups and others on a limited budget. Getty Images provides images that are often exclusive (you normally don't find them anywhere else) and these are more suitable for high-end users such as major corporations and advertising agencies with large budgets.
We also wanted to bring to your attention that Adobe Stock gives you 10 free images if you sign up for a subscription plan, but allows you to cancel before your payments start.
Getty Images also lets you use their images for free as long as you embed them. This means that at the bottom of the images you will state that the images are from Getty Images. This is only for non-commercial purposes.
Regarding quality of the products, all of the stock image websites that are reviewed on Topimagesites have products of very high quality, and there is not much difference in quality among them.
The agency that has the largest inventory of videos (also called footage) is Pond5. This agency have more than 6 million videos. If you need videos for your project, we would recommend Pond5 as it not only has the largest collection of videos, but the quality is also really great. Pond5 specializes in providing high quality videos (and audio files).
Pond5, which we recommended for videos, also specializes in audio and sound effects. It not only has the largest number of audio files of the agencies (more than 1.2 million), but it also provides very high quality audio products.
If you are looking for audio files, we would recommend Pond5.
We hope this was helpful,
The Topimagesites Team